A man has a playful endangered Manatee holds [REUTERS 2005-02-09]
A man has a playful endangered Manatee holds on to his leg while swimming in the Crystal River in Homosassa, Florida, February 9, 2005. Adult manatees have been known to exceed lengths of 13 feet and weigh over 3,500 pounds and Scientists believe that manatees are capable of living for 60 years or more. The Florida Marine Research Institute reports that 23% of Manatees that are killed each year are hit by watercraft. Manatees in Florida are protected by both state and federal law. They are protected by two federal laws: The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Manatees are also protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978.